AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya welcomed all the passengers on the airline’s first flight between Bengaluru and Pune on 17 December. Pune becomes the airline’s sixth destination to be served from its Bengaluru base, which opened on 12 June 2014. Up until the end of November, AirAsia India had already transported over a quarter of a million passengers.
- AirAsia India on 17 December added two more routes to its slowly growing network. This means the LCC now operates on seven airport pairs within India. The latest additions are daily services from Bengaluru (BLR) to Pune (PNQ) and from Pune (PNQ) to Jaipur (JAI). The former 721-kilometre route will face intense competition from IndiGo (26 weekly flights), GoAir and Jet Airways (14 weekly flights each) and SpiceJet (13 weekly flights). However, the latter 933-kilometre route is not currently served by any other carrier, though SpiceJet did operate between Pune and Jaipur from 23 July 2012 until 23 February 2014. Both of these new routes will be operated by one of AirAsia India’s three 180-seat A320s. According to Indian government statistics AirAsia India has carried around 254,000 passengers since it launched on 12 June 2014 to the end of November 2014. Its load factor of 79.8% in November ranked it fourth among India’s eight domestic airlines, and it currently has around 1% of the Indian domestic market.